The adoption story of Marcus James
As the bassist with top CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) bands such as PC3 (Paul Colman Trio) and Sonicflood and as a solo artist, Grant Norsworthy’s musical achievements are notable. In the process of producing a body of critically acclaimed and much-loved music, he has gathered a Grammy® nomination and a Dove Award.
Grant now lives in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife and son, Max, and works as an independent speaker and musician. Recently he and his family were given the wonderful news that they had been praying for–the baby boy they had been waiting to adopt had arrived. The news came much quickly than any had anticipated.
This is their story…
We have been in the adoption process for a little over a year. Initially, we hoped for a fast placement, but most importantly prayed that God would lead us to the child who was meant to join our family. At the beginning of February we added to our “team” of adoption professionals Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC) who mentioned a need for families willing to adopt African American children. With a burden to adopt a child of any race or gender we signed on, hoping that we might soon be chosen as an adoptive family.
On Monday February 11th, things took quite an exciting turn. FAC called to tell us of TWO adoption situations, asking if we would like our profile considered! One was for two children in Florida and the other was a one month old baby boy in Kansas, named Marcus, due to be discharged from hospital the next day. After prayerfully considering we said “yes” to both and got very little sleep that night as we waited for the birth parents to choose families for their little ones. The next day we were called at 3 pm to say that the birth mom in Kansas had chosen us and that we should make our way to him! We arranged for our 5 year son, Max, to be cared for and rushed to pack our bags! We left home without a single baby outfit!
Twelve hours of driving, one snowstorm and a few hours sleep later we arrived at the adoption agency in Wichita. We had expected to begin adoption paperwork but we were surprised to learn that Marcus’s birth mother was there and willing to meet us! Surprised, exhausted and emotional, we stepped into a room to meet the woman who was giving us an unimaginable gift. We embraced her and wept! She shared with us her story, her situation and why she had chosen us to be Marcus’s family. We are so thankful for that special time with her, which truly prepared us to meet our son. Marcus arrived while we were sitting with his birth mother who saw us hold him for the first time.
Marcus is a beautiful, part African American baby who was born 7 weeks premature.
He had a rough first month of life. Typical for preemie babies, he was born with open heart valves, a small brain hemorrhage and a tendency to forget to breathe (apnea), all healing as his body approaches his due date. He came to us with a heart & respiratory monitor which alerts us when he needs to be reminded to fill his lungs. At first this was a little intimidating, but we now see why Marcus’s birth mom carefully chose a family who had the experience of caring for a newborn, while still having the time to pay close attention to his needs. The prognosis is good! He should be off the monitor in a few weeks and doctors believe that he will develop normally once his body has caught up on missed time in the womb.
We filed adoption papers on Valentine’s Day – the same date that Marcus was scheduled to be induced had he not been premature. Instead, it was the day he joined our family! The name “Marcus” was given to him by his birth mom. Although we could have changed it we wanted to honor her love and decided it really suited him and his story, as one who fought for his first month of life. We gave him the middle name James, after the book of the bible that inspires us to “care for orphans and widows”.
We spent 8 days in Kansas, surrounded by people who cared for us and Marcus beautifully. We also met with Marcus’s birth family twice more and agreed to keep the communication doors open. After we got clearance to leave the state we met with the judge who will finalize Marcus’s adoption on March 28th! A snowstorm had already descended on Wichita and we escaped via icy roads just before the city received over a foot of snow! Now, home in Nashville TN, we are reunited with Max who is a proud big brother!
Our financial needs are still enormous. We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our friends and family. Please consider sharing our blog link and perhaps donating to our adoption fund. We’ve been surprised by how many donations have been from people we’ve never met – you just never know who has a heart for adoption!
As one of our Social Workers said: Adoption makes beauty out of ashes!